What Happens When You Anonymously Post the First Page of Infinite Jest to Yahoo Answers

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Predictably, everyone hates the first page of David Foster Wallace's masterpiece. Here's a sampling of the responses:

You know your story needs more work, so you don't need anyone to tell you what you already know.

*

No discernible voice/tone in this writing. Rambling descriptions. I, frankly, do not care where each and every person is seated. I don't care what shoe you're wearing. If you take out all the unnecessary details, you'd be left with about seven words.

*

This needs some serious work... your writing is not formal, as Danielle thought... it is written in informal language that imitates the qualities commonly believed to be characteristic of formal language.

I recommend checking out "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk and E.B White... that should help to clear a few things up.

Read the full story at Yahoo Answers, via @kanyimaq.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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